We receive many questions regarding the role of a pharmacy technician on our site. We have written a plethora of articles devoted to the subject, including a general overview of what it means to be a pharmacy technician, their many responsibilities and job outlook. We wanted to write up an article on the most common question we get about the job: "What is the salary of a pharmacy technician?"
The Bureau Of Labor Statistics lists the 2015 median pay as $30,410 per year, or an average of $14.62 per hour.
It would be safe to assume that average salary for the job will only increase as the population ages and the number of prescriptions filled annually grows. Due to the increased demand and skill the job requires, many states are now requiring that pharmacy technicians be certified (aka "Certified Pharmacy Technician") in order to work in a pharmacy. This will cause the rate of pay to increase for a more talented and skilled worker.
We commonly get asked "if it is worth" becoming a pharmacy technician. This of course is more a matter of personal choice and, salary aside, there are many factors to take into consideration.
One thing that is necessary to determine is whether or not the state you live in requires you to be certified through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). If your state does require certification, you will need to take a course before being able to work as a technician. The course typically takes around 10-13 weeks and costs on average $1000. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is taken upon completion of the pharmacy technician training course. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and needs to be completed in a 2 hour window.
In terms of jobs that don't require a college degree, pharmacy technician is ranked highly in multiple categories. It consistently ranks in the top 100 fastest growing jobs in addition to being ranked in the top 100 best jobs without a college degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the annual job growth rate for pharmacy technicians at about 10%! As the need for pharmacy technicians continue to increase, average salary is expected to increase as well.